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IBM Sets Areal Density Record for Magnetic Tape

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the just-push-really-hard-to-cram-more-in dept.

Data Storage 135

digitalPhant0m writes to tell us that IBM researchers have set a new world record for areal data density on linear magnetic tape, weighing in at around 29.5 billion bits per square inch. This achievement is roughly 39 times the density of current industry standard magnetic tape. "To achieve this feat, IBM Research has developed several new critical technologies, and for the past three years worked closely with FUJIFILM to optimize its next-generation dual-coat magnetic tape based on barium ferrite (BaFe) particles. [...] These new technologies are estimated to enable cartridge capacities that could hold up to 35 trillion bytes (terabytes) of uncompressed data. This is about 44 times the capacity of today's IBM LTO Generation 4 cartridge. A capacity of 35 terabytes of data is sufficient to store the text of 35 million books, which would require 248 miles (399 km) of bookshelves."

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135 comments

Man (1, Funny)

bmajik (96670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863142)

I wish I was a researcher working on improving areola density. I didn't think IBM had those kinds of jobs. It certainly never came up at the job fair they were at when I was in college.

Re:Man (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863150)

What, your college didn't have photoshop classes(or airbrush, if you're old school)?

TAPE, and the C64 - A Story Now Worth Telling (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863938)

Back when computers where the domain on the cool, long before the time of the luser, tape was the thing to have for data storage. I am thrilled to see it come back. I can only hope it is off-white, has rounded corners, and has mechanical buttons to push and play. And of course, being tape, you can rest assured that the integrity of the data is there because you have two copies, one after the other. But don't put it on the radiator. Port 123, I love you!

Lifetime of a tape (1)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863278)

That's great, but how long will it hold the data?

Re:Lifetime of a tape (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864024)

137ms before data degrades. But that's fine, since this is still above the average time before internet information becomes obsolete.

AWESOME! (1, Redundant)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863156)

Casette Tapes are coming back!

If Only I still had a Deck!

Re:AWESOME! (1)

eav (701231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863182)

Casette Tapes are coming back!

If Only I still had a Deck!

I still have one. Somewhere.

Re:AWESOME! (4, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863992)

Oh yeah. Assuming 400 MB per album (FLAC), a 35 TB tape will hold 87,500 of them. So, a million tracks, give or take. That should be fun to hunt through with nothing but FF and RW buttons!

In other news... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863170)

... IBM researchers have set a record for compressing the most records of cattle onto clay tablets using their proprietary new cuneiform.

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863254)

I spit my doobie onto the cat, who then knocked over my coffee, when I read that. Well played, sir.

Re:In other news... (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863406)

Are you saying tape is outdated? Because for organizations that have large storage requirements you can't get any cheaper than tape, and it has superior archival and transportation properties than HDD's as well.

Re:In other news... (5, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863688)

The biggest issue with tape is keeping the density and cartridge capacity up. Even though tapes and magnetic hard drives share a lot in common, storing data on rust is where the similarities end. Tape media contacts the head and is read while the head is contacting, as opposed to HDDs which float very close to the surface of a disk. So, the material the magnetic domains are on has to be sturdy enough for physical contact. Tape does have an advantage that it has more space to store data than a disk platter. However, a lot of that space is taken up by error correction, since there is no way to relocate bad sectors on the fly with tape, and if a block goes bad, it goes bad, no way to recover without ECC, or a way to duplicate the lost data.

What tape has over hard disks is simplicity. A DLT or LTO-5 tape has one reel for a moving part. Compare that to a hard disk which has the platters, the heads, the wires, and the motors. Drop a tape, and it almost certainly is recoverable. Drop a hard disk, and a person never knows if the hard drive is completely dead, or will die very soon due to the impact. This is also important when it comes to archiving. Tapes, you can put in their cases, drop them axis vertical in an Iron Maiden tub, and your data is secure. With hard disks, you have to put them in padded boxes to help dampen vibrations which can kill the drive.

Tape drive makers are also responding to the clarion call of encryption. HP's LTO-4 line supports SPIN/SPOUT encryption capabilities. You can set it to use the same passphrase on multiple tapes, or use backup software which sets a different key on each tape and manages which key goes to which tape for better security. Software like Retrospect, Backup Exec, or bru also offer AES encryption with libraries certified by the US government. So, a tape backup is decently secure.

Tapes can be set to be read-only. This is important because it means that a tape read on a compromised machine won't be able to be tampered with. Some tape systems (DLT) offer WORM functionality to allow for secure archiving of data with the data cryptographically signed by the tape drive. This is important when one has to deal with HIPAA and archiving of data for 7 years, or the FAA and archiving airplane data for 50 years.

Tapes are fast. This is also one of their weaknesses. If you don't feed them the full amount of their pipeline, the tape drive has to stop and reverse. "Shoe-shining" is not good for tape life, nor the life on heads. So one needs to have tape drives preferably on a computer with the I/O paths to handle it [1].

Finally, once you buy the drive, tapes are the best bang for byte you can get. Even older tape formats like LTO-4 that give 800 gigs native for $40 is still fairly cheap for the capacity.

[1]: Ideally, the best use of tape is a network backup server with a good RAID array. You back the machines up to the array, then copy the data to tape. This way, network glitches do not slow down the data being slapped on the tapes.

Re:In other news... (1)

loose electron (699583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864146)

"storing data on rust is where the similarities end"

Ferrous oxide tape and disk drives haven't been used in new media in over 20 years (30?)
What cave have you been hiding in?

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864744)

>>What tape has over hard disks is simplicity. A DLT or LTO-5 tape has one reel for a moving part.

I worked for a while with DLT. The firmware and the logic on board the drive unit are quite complicated. Also the tape heads are not at all static; they are precisely calibrated and angled by the drive itself. A voice-coil-actuator based hard disk has far fewer moving parts, especially considering there is no cartridge loading/unloading mechanism.

Re:In other news... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865168)

Very true. However, you have one drive/library/rack, and one set of tape heads, for a large number of tapes. This means the total moving parts in a storage pool is far lower compared to a backup set consisting of a box of hard drives. If a tape drive dies, it is expensive, but it can be replaced and generally not cause loss of data. The media is separate from the reader. If the heads die on a hard disk, you are facing a very expensive recovery process if anything is stored on that drive that is wanted.

Re:In other news... (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865094)

Micro SD-XC for the win.

Will (eventually) go to 2 TB, have extremely fast random access, very high tolerances (drop it all you want, just don't break it), minute volume (11 x 15 x 1 mm) and no physical contact apart from insertion/removal.

Yes, break it and you're fucked, but you get reduce your storage volume by a factor 1,400 (231,142.2 mm^3 vs 165 mm^3) compared to LTO.

Currently the largest capacity micro-sd cards seem to be 16 GB. So you'd need tape in an LTO form factor to be at 21 TB just to compete by volume. Yes, LTO-5 is a lot faster at 180 MB/s, but the SD-XC standard is expected to go to 300 MB/s (but probably not random), nor do the SD-cards come with built in encryption that I know of. And I don't think the micro version can be set to read-only, but if you're worried about a single machine, there's nothing stopping you from using an adapter that does.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863868)

Tape is dead. Long live Tape.

Don't need to transport HDDs. You just need a big fat fiber-optic connection.

And what is the point of archiving if in a few years you can't find the drives or the controllers or the whatever to read the media? Having been in this industry for this long, I've already experienced having an archive of something but not able to find a drive to read it. Remember the old TRS-80 and the audio tape drives? State of the art 30-35 years ago, utterly useless today. Even if I could find a cassette player, I'd still have no way for any modern computer to read it, short of inventing it over again.

You think that is rare? How about 8" floppies?, How about Zip, Bernoulli drives, Heck it is getting hard to find 3.5" drives.

If your archival horizon is longer than about 10 years, you're looking at the wrong life cycle planning. Do you think whatever flavor of SAS we have today is going to exist in 15 years?

Re:In other news... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864072)

I can read 16 year old DLT-IV tapes with equipment I have laying around (and have for realestate tax documents for my current employer!). SAS is already almost a decade old and there are draft proposals going out till 2014 that AFAIK maintain backward compatibility.

Re:In other news... (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865000)

Also consider that ATA hard drives have been electronically compatible since 1986.

Serial ATA was the first revision to the spec that broke backward compatibility, although that claim is even debatable, given that SATA->PATA adapters are available, and are generally rather simple devices.

SCSI's a bit more complicated, although you SCSI adapters should be around for a long time to come.

Re:In other news... (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864228)

for organizations that have large storage requirements you can't get any cheaper than tape

Are you so sure? Quantum claims that their DLT-V4 tape offers the lowest media cost/GB in its class at just $0.12 [quantum.com]. That's not including the drive, and they are not free. So it's $120/TB just for the media, which is about 30% more than a hard drive. And 1 TB isn't one tape, it's half a dozen of them, so that's fun.

Now, you could argue it's not fair to consumer hard drives to "enterprise" tape, but that's kind of the point. Tape is a niche product, so it might be a bad deal simply because the economies of scale aren't as good.

Reliability? Hard to say. Tape and HDDs are both magnetic media, but HDD platters are sealed off from the environment with a micron-level filter. Tapes aren't sealed as well.

Re:In other news... (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864338)

Uh, I can get LTO4 tapes for $50 and they hold 800GB raw/1.2-1.6TB compressed. They also take zero energy to store data. I've had two tape failures out of the last 4,440 I've put through my library (one was dropped). Compare that to the dozens of drive failures I've had in the same period of time with about 80% fewer drives.

You forgot to copy the stars (footnotes): (4, Informative)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863184)

*The demonstration was performed at product-level tape speeds (2 meters per second) and achieved error rates that are correctable using standard error-correction techniques to meet IBM's performance specification for its LTO Generation 4 products.

**Note that this calculation assumes a roughly 12% increase in tape length due to the reduced medium thickness.

***Note that this has been rounded up from 43.75 times

Re:You forgot to copy the stars (footnotes): (2, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863420)

You forgot the obligatory:

The tape can hold 3.5 libraries of congress, with a density of .00036 libraries per square inch.

What about write speed? (4, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863198)

So what about speed? What good is the ability to store 35TB of data, if it takes you a week to write/read it?

Re:What about write speed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863222)

lol

I highly doubt that this is the *one* technology that will never improve.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863274)

I didn't say it wouldn't improve. What I did say is that I would like to know HOW/IF it did improve this time... LTO5 can only achieve around 180 MBps... At that speed, you're looking at somewhere around 54 hours to write to these tapes... Hardly inconsequential...

Re:What about write speed? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863448)

They increased particle density and kept linear speed the same so the ratio of data to time should be roughly the same. Of course that means keeping the drive fed with 44x more bandwidth which could really only be done with D2D2T with the disk target being a very fast array.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863232)

2 meters per second * (around 29.5 billion bits per square inch * meter modifier). go, figure..

Re:What about write speed? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863310)

Well, tapes use a multi-pass write method (At least LTO, which I am familiar with does). The largest generation tape now (LTO5) takes 56 passes (both directions) to write. So it's not a trivial calculation... (I have no idea the number of passes that they use, hence why it's an important factor. They could have increased the tracks per pass, or increased the passes, or both)...

Re:What about write speed? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863442)

They don't say how wide the track of information is... which relieves you of the need to convert from metric to imperial since the comparison is useless anyway!

Re:What about write speed? (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863248)

Who cares about a week to read it? I'd be giddy with power if I could destroy the entire Library of Congress in 30 seconds with a bulk eraser.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

Jason daHaus (1419459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863312)

In most cases whether it took a week to write would be a non-issue. You'd likely be doing a server to server backup on a daily basis and be writing to tape once a week anyway (ie, continuously).

Re:What about write speed? (2, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863346)

Depends on the number of parallel read/write heads, wasn't in the article ... a quick google shows present tapes take between 25-50 passes to fill a tape at ~7 minutes per pass, god that's slow.

Re:What about write speed? (3, Interesting)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864992)

... a quick google shows present tapes take between 25-50 passes to fill a tape at ~7 minutes per pass, god that's slow.

Slow? 35TB, 50 passes, 7 minutes per pass: 1.6GB/s [google.com] (using decimal prefixes of course...)
I doubt it'll be that fast in practice, but slow it isn't.

Re:What about write speed? (2, Informative)

VMaN (164134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863496)

35TB in a week? 60MB/sec isn't all that bad.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864028)

This is the first tape hardware that has actually seemed interesting to me as a consumer. Finally, the capacity is large enough that it won't take two tapes just to back up a single off-the-shelf 1TB or 1.5TB hard drive.

Now if this were available today with the drive costing $300 and the tapes at $20 apiece, it would be the perfect backup medium. Unfortunately, knowing the way the industry works, it will hit the market in 8-10 years, by which time 30 TB hard drives will be routine, and it will cost $2000 for the drive plus $200 per tape when a 30 TB hard drive costs around $100.

The capacity of tape drives isn't why they are dinosaurs. It's the absurd cost-to-benefit ratio coupled with the bad capacity. Even in an enterprise environment, you'd be hard pressed to explain why a dozen off-site RAID arrays isn't a better choice than tape, IMHO. Until it's significantly cheaper to back up to tape than to back up to a dozen hard drives in alternation, as far as I'm concerned, tape is dead.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864164)

LTO4 tapes cost $50 and hold 1.6TB, require zero energy while at rest, are easy to transport, etc. Of course I also have servers at our DR site with full replica's of my production environment, but they do not serve the same purpose at all because the DR servers can fall victim to the same faults and abuses as the production systems while the mounds of offline tapes at my offsite storage are a lot more impervious.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864602)

They hold 1.6 TB if the data compresses easily. For many types of data, they hold half that. You can't guarantee that a tape will back up a single hard drive without swapping tapes. At 1.6 TB, they're marginally cheaper than ATA hard drives ($50 for a 1.5 TB internal drive). At .8 TB, they're almost twice as expensive. Both hold the same data. Both get tossed out and replaced when they go bad. When used as part of a backup rotation, both will, statistically speaking, outlast the backup rotation. So it really comes down to cost and ease of use. The hard drive wins in both places hands down.

I'm not talking about replication here, BTW. I'm talking about using hard drives the same way you would use a tape. You stick the drive in a docking station, clone the data to the drive, spin it down, and shelve it just like you would with a tape. The difference is that the hard drive doesn't require any special hardware to read it and can be brought online at a moment's notice with much faster random access to your backed up data.

For most backup purposes (short-term to medium-term), I'd pick a hard drive over tape any day. Tapes are still a better choice if your goal is long-term storage of backups (years), of course.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864714)

Yeah but there's no 300 slot auto-loader or functional equivalent for HDD's and they wouldn't survive being transported offsite as well. Also $100 [google.com] seems to be the going rate for 1.5TB drives not $50. They also have about 50% less sustained bandwidth (80MB/s vs 120MB/s).

Re:What about write speed? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865142)

Refurb. $50.39 each.

http://3btech.net/rese507232bu.html

Regarding the slot loader, because hard drives don't require an expensive tape drive, you don't need such a beast. Assuming you use a series of those open-front FireWire 800 drive trays attached to multiple cards, you can attach at least a couple dozen drives to a computer and address them all at once. This also makes the maximum total sustained bandwidth much greater than that of the tape drive.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865196)

Regarding transport, that's not particularly hard. You just use a standard foam-lined briefcase. Punch out slots for the drives. Slip the drive into a foil bag, slide the bag into the slot, repeat. Transport the case. Most of us carry hard drives all the time in laptops with far less protection. A drive that is shut down with the head parked is fairly robust.

Re:What about write speed? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863530)

It's been a while since I did one so I'd better ask: do people still do full backups overnight?

Re:What about write speed? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864194)

Don't know about other shops but we do ours over the weekend, daily's are differential (not incremental to avoid the loss of restore from a single failed tape, though we've only had 2 in the last 3.5 years and one of those was dropped).

Re:What about write speed? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864388)

Going back to the grandparent poster's question:

Of those who DON'T do regular tape backups, a lot of them would LOVE to if the tape capacities were higher and cost per bit lower.

This looks like a case of re-enabling technology.

Re:What about write speed? (3, Insightful)

belrick (31159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864330)

If the areal density increases uniformly in both directions, then you can expect that the read/write speed goes up by the square root of the areal density increase. That is, for 43.75 you'd expect a speed increase of at least between 6 and 7 times. Note that sometimes the density increase is achieved in only one direction or the other, depending on what technology was used to achieve it, in which case all or none of the density increase results in speed increase.

You can achieve speed increases by using multiple heads. LTO and the 3590/3592 proprietary tape technology on which it is based use 8 or 16 tracks read/written simultaneously, with tracks interleaved. There might be 256 tracks with tracks 1, 17, 33, ..., 241 being accessed, then 2, 18, ..., 242. etc. Doubling the number of tracks (density increase of 2 widthwise) wouldn't increase read/write speed. Doubling the number of tracks while simultaneously doubling the number of heads would.

Note that with 8 or 16 heads spread across the tape width, error correction is achieved by writing a matrix of bits (across the tape as well as down the length) with ECC bits added.

Is it a VHS or Betamax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863224)

hmmm... I wonder, I could backup all my server's and desktop's with full uncompressed backup every month on a single cardrige

Re:Is it a VHS or Betamax? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863354)

This is why AC can't get a IT job... he only tells the interviewers that he uses one tape for his backups...

Man .. fill up your station wagon *those* tapes! (0, Redundant)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863244)

And see how many "libraries of congress" you can shift coast to coast (google maps says about 41 hours DC to LA by car)

Who needs a station wagon? (1)

MonoSynth (323007) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863308)

Just fill an envelope with MicroSD cards :)

Re:Who needs a station wagon? (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863772)

Storage capacity of this tape ~35,000GB
LTO tape = 4.15" Height x 0.85" Width x 4.02" Depth or 2,324 mm^3 giving ~15GB/mm^3
The biggest MicroSD card I could find was 32GB
Width: 11 mm x Length: 15 mm x Thickness: 1 mm or 165 mm^3 giving 0.194GB/mm^3


Conclusion:
This tape trashes microsd for storage density, heck even LTO4 drives beat microsd by ~50%.

Re:Who needs a station wagon? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864586)

LTO tape = 4.15" Height x 0.85" Width x 4.02" Depth or 2,324 mm^3 giving ~15GB/mm^3

That calculation is not correct.

4.02" = 105mm
0.85" = 22mm
4.02" = 102mm

105 x 22 x 102 = 235 620 mm^3 (about 100 times more than your calculation)

35 000 / 235 620 = 0.149 GB/mm^3

Conclusion: 32GB microsd cards have slightly higher density than these new super tapes.

Re:Who needs a station wagon? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865166)

There's something wrong there, and not just in the volume.

Volume of LTO: 231,142.2 mm^3
Volume of micro sd: 165 mm^3

Difference: 1,400 : 1.

So you need LTO tape to exceed 43.7 TB to match that 32 GB MicroSD card. And that's without looking at the upcomming SD-XC standard which will move towards 2 TB.

Re:Who needs a station wagon? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865244)

Just fill an envelope with MicroSD cards :)

Sounds like the old deck drop problem could come back.

Convenient Units (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863258)

So in other words, 3.6875 GB/ inch^2 We have units for this stuff guys, dunno why we suddenly went back to "billion bits"

Re:Convenient Units (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863384)

Hm, I must be doing something wrong, because I went to go see what a standard information density on a HDD platter is, and It looks like 17.57 GB/inch2 and up on modern drives, which is faster than 3.68, not 1 / 39th as the article claims...

Re:Convenient Units (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863516)

Title of TFA.

IBM Research Sets New Record in Magnetic Tape Data Density

So the record is specific to magnetic tape.

Re:Convenient Units (1)

mrvan (973822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863388)

yeah, who would use a unit such as bit when he could also use something like GB?

And if we're doing the unit thing, what about (centi)meters instead of inches???

Tape delay (2, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863260)

I'd tell you what the previous record was for backup tape... but it got archived at the end of my last backup and will take a few hours to get back. Sorry, I'll try harder next time.

i had to look up 'areal' (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863292)

Are`al
Of or pertaining to an area; as, areal interstices (the areas or spaces inclosed by the reticulate vessels of leaves).

Inclose is a word too. Huh.

SI Units (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863322)

For those of you who are confused by these scary looking Terrorbytes, these tapes would hold about a third of a Library of Congress each.

Re:SI Units (2, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863474)

For those of you who are confused by these scary looking Terrorbytes, these tapes would hold about a third of a Library of Congress each.

I think you meant to say one third of the tape would hold a Library of Congress... 35TB on the tape and a LoC is 10TB, or 20TB by some estimates. So between 1.75 LoC and 3.5 LoC will fit on a single tape.

Re:SI Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864166)

Isn't a LOC an increasing amount of dta. every new book that is published in the US gets added to it.

Re:SI Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30865448)

What are you talking about? The LoC to TB conversion you are using must be wrong. You should use the Miles of Bookshelves which both publish, that way you don't have any conversion errors.

http://www.loc.gov/about/facts.html - "The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items on approximately 650 miles of bookshelves."

So these tapes doing 248 miles per tape the LoC being ~650 miles, means it is ~38% of the LoC on a tape, roughly the 1/3 that was posted.

Oh boy! (2, Insightful)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863324)

Now governments and big corporations can misplace even *more* data!

"The Library of Congress burned down? No worries chief! I got the whole thing backed up on the tape right here in my desk. (opens and closes drawers) Right here.. in.. my... oh shizzle."

How long does it last? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863394)

It's always sobering to watch shows like Population Zero etc. and realize that our civ. may be completely undiscoverable come 2k years from now.

Re:How long does it last? (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864202)

That's what garbage dumps are for - they are going to be fascinated digging through all our trash.

In other news... (4, Funny)

seven of five (578993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863440)

Joe's Pizza Delivery and Data Courier Co loses the personal health and financial records of every human being on earth.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863556)

In related news... The pizza was fucking awesome though!

so what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863450)

tape still sucks. higher density just means you lose more faster when you can't read back the headers etc. You still get the joys of sequential access, of which the only true component is the ability to go get a coffee while the tape drive picks its teeth before actually streaming bits.

Re:so what... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864248)

Uh, we've had two tape failures in the last 4,440 and one of those was dropped, I've lost WAY more HDD's in the same amount of time and I have about 80% fewer drives and they aren't being shipped all over the place.

Just don't sneeze on the tape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863512)

Oops. We didn't need that 35TB of data anyway.

Is There (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863536)

a USB port for my Kindle uploads?

Thanks in advance.

Yours In Murmansk,
Kilgore Trout

blu-ray movies on my VHS (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863542)

finally a magnetic tape that will allow me to record blu-ray movies on my VHS cassettes with full 1080p.

Re:blu-ray movies on my VHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863646)

Hah, nice one. This tape has little to do with VHS, especially with respect to compatibility.

Re:blu-ray movies on my VHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863778)

Dude, it's 35 TB, not GB.

Units (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863546)

"29.5 billion bits per square inch"

I'm sorry, what?

Could we have this in libraries of congress per furlong?

Re:Units (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863644)

Given that there are 7920 inches in a furlong, and .00036 LoCs in an inch of tape, we know that the tape's density is 2.8 LoC/inch-furlongs or 22,000 LoC/Sq. Furlong

Finally (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30863592)

Oh boy! Finally a media that can hold my porn collection.

Amanda Seyfried/Julianne Moore Sex Scene? Check! (0, Offtopic)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#30863858)

> IBM Sets Areal Density Record for Magnetic Tape

From the trailer for Chloe, it looks like Amanda Seyfried has a very low areolar density, due to it's large size.

Stupid Units (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30864106)

Why bother explaining how many miles of bookshelves would be needed to hold some amount of digital data? We don't explain how long a bookshelf would have to be to hold all the data in an HDTV screenful, and 35TB data tapes are probably going to hold more graphics than text. Besides, how big is the type in the books filling that shelf? And who but a librarian is going to relate to miles of bookshelves as a meaningful comparison, anyway?

Why don't they say "a 35TB tape is enough to hold 5 million full CDs, or 7,778 full DVDs? That's a comparison that people could actually relate to, that is actually factual, and isn't just some kind of primitive awe at how efficient we've become now that we store data on something not made of mashed trees.

Re:Stupid Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30864570)

Honestly, I can't even picture what 5 million CD's would look like. Would they fill a 2000 sq ft house? Five 2000 sq ft houses? I can picture a mile of bookshelves though. If someone told me a device could store 5 million CD's worth of data, I'd multiply 5 million by 700MB to come up with a figure. The bookshelf thing isn't meant to be an exact measurement, obviously. The size of the type in that many books would average out.

Re:Stupid Units (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865040)

Ironic, that the mashed trees you so easily dismiss will actually outlast your fancy-schmancy tapes.

Re:Stupid Units (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865180)

You never worked with VAX documentation did you? That stuff demanded measurements in bookshelf lengths.

Re:Stupid Units (1)

Stratoukos (1446161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865182)

Why don't they say "a 35TB tape is enough to hold 5 million full CDs, or 7,778 full DVDs? That's a comparison that people could actually relate to, that is actually factual, and isn't just some kind of primitive awe at how efficient we've become now that we store data on something not made of mashed trees.

And since we're on slashdot this is redundant too. Is there anyone reading this article and going "Golly gee 35TB, that's a mighty big number. I wonder how many CDs/DVDs/Libraries of Congress would fit in there".

I wonder if astrophysicists say stuff like "The diameter of the visible universe is 93 billion light years. That's 5 million billion billions Washington monuments"

Tape is not the best solution (2, Informative)

Zugok (17194) | more than 4 years ago | (#30865160)

As Linus has said before 'Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it'

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